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Mount St. Mary’s University Launches Capital Campaign

Donna Klinger

Founders Plaza view

Mount St. Mary’s University publicly launched its capital campaign Our Mission, Our Moment, Our Mount today with the announcement that a major portion has already been committed toward the $50 million goal. The campaign is among the most ambitious and impactful fundraising efforts in the university’s 215-year history.

President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D., made the announcement in a video released to alumni, students, parents, employees and university partners as well as in person at several alumni events.

“Our mission calls us to help our students find the intersection of their passion and talents and then shape their path to leading a life of significance. We’re evolving in ways that provide new pathways that emphasize the Mount way—ethical and creative decision-making, compassionate care and respect for all people,” President Trainor said. “Together we can achieve our campaign goals that position the Mount for the next 100 years and serve our community.”

The Our Mount campaign focuses on standing up a graduate School of Health Professions, investing in STEM programs and facilities to reflect the excellence of the university’s faculty and students, and enhancing athletic facilities.

The campaign leadership team, all of whom are alumni and have a 100% participation rate in the campaign, include Frances Becker, C’75, Richard B. Becker, C’75, David O. Conaghan, ’81, David M. DiLuigi, C’92, Robert C. Dondero, C’74, Thomas J. Harrington III, C’78, Gracelyn Ashby McDermott, C’93, and Richard P. Miller, C’74.

“We are deeply grateful for the commitment our donors have made to the Our Mount campaign to this point,” said Vice President for University Advancement Bob Brennan, C’85. “Alumni, federal and state government, foundations and other friends of the Mount believe in our mission, leadership and vision for the future. This campaign will build on our success and continue our growth in the coming years.”

Transforming Patient and Provider Care

shp.pngThe School of Health Professions will be transformational for students, the university and Frederick County by helping students answer the call to serve and helping to bring about changes to patient—and provider—care. Being built around the growing applied behavior analysis program and a physician assistant program that is in development, the school will evolve to include master’s level nursing and other healthcare programs.

“The School of Health Professions dramatically changes Mount St. Mary’s in a major way,” said Richard Miller, C’74, a member of the Mount St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees and of the Our Mount campaign leadership team. Miller is the retired president & CEO of Virtua Health. “We will assume a larger role in preparing the next generation of ethical and caring healthcare leaders and help the community by addressing the provider shortage.”

In preparing physician assistant graduates to provide equitable and compassionate healthcare for all patients, the Mount is partnering with the Daughters of Charity. The Daughters in-kind gift of a wing of St. Joseph Provincial House in Emmitsburg for the School of Health Professions allows the university to quickly expand its footprint in Emmitsburg.

The university’s commitment to train compassionate healthcare providers will be realized through the Care for America program, through which the Daughters of Charity will offer mentors and scholarships. Care for America will teach students how to care for underserved patients by incorporating a focus on service, advocacy, resourcing, healthcare equity and inequity, and volunteerism in the curriculum. This element of the program dovetails with the missions of the Mount and the Daughters by seeking to graduate healthcare providers who possess the desire to provide equitable and compassionate care and the ability to thrive in difficult work environments.

“We have a lot of sisters who have served in health care throughout their lives that now live on this campus where the School of Health Professions will be located. We hope that those sisters can serve as mentors and supporters and certainly spiritual partners for the young men and women who will be going through these programs and learning to serve low-income communities,” said Sr. Teresa George, provincial councillor/provincial treasurer of the Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise and a member of the Mount’s Board of Trustees.

The School of Health Professions will also include a Center for Clinician Well-Being, which will teach students to mitigate burnout using wellness tools, meditation techniques and coping strategies. “Our graduates will be especially desirable to employers because they will be resilient, adaptable and mindful providers who are able to thrive in challenging environments,” said Physician Assistant Program Director Mary (Lueben) Jackson, C’05, MMS, PA-C, CAQ-EM. Mount graduates also will be able to share these wellness tools with their patients.

“With the School of Health Professions, particularly the Center for Clinician Well-Being, we have the opportunity to care for the provider in a holistic manner—mind, body and soul,” said Gracelyn McDermott, C’93, chair of the Mount’s Board of Trustees and vice president, marketing sales and business development at Kaiser Permanente. “That is the foundation of what we do here at Mount St. Mary’s University, whether during undergraduate or post-graduate studies.” The Mount's Board of Trustees has committed significant personal resources in funding the start-up costs for the School of Health Professions.

Renovations to the E Wing will begin this year. In addition to an applied behavior analysis clinic and the Center for Clinician Well-Being, the facility will include cutting-edge technology in classrooms and labs, spaces that encourage collaboration and a serenity garden. The school is expected to open in the fall of 2024.

Preparing to Tackle the STEM Challenges of Tomorrow

coad-concept-as-of-nov-2022-feature.jpgThe campaign also focuses on $20 million in improvements to the university’s STEM facilities, which the university has outgrown. The Mount has experienced significant growth in science and technology programs and the funds will be used to create state-of-the-art labs and teaching spaces to meet the demands of future learners.

Enrollment growth in high-demand STEM majors means the university is rapidly outgrowing its facilities. The three-story 50,100 square-foot Coad Science Building, built in 1964, serves the School of Natural Science and Mathematics. Planned facilities improvements will begin with a 21,000-square-foot addition to the existing space that will house neuroscience, computational and research labs as well as collaborative learning spaces. The second phase will build out additional science labs, classrooms and experiential research spaces. The third phase will focus on the renovation of the existing space in Coad. 

The new classroom and lab spaces will be technology-rich, multi-use, flexible and configurable for a variety of instructional formats and class sizes. Specific goals for the building addition include a design that promotes circulation and spontaneous interaction; is flexible and adaptable; and provides natural light where STEM students and faculty in action can see and be seen. The additional space will also allow for increased programs with local STEM industry partners.

A portion of the 21,000-square-foot facilities upgrade is being funded in part by $4 million in federal workforce development funds and a $2 million grant from the State of Maryland, in conjunction with donations made in support of the project through the Forward! Together as One Campaign, which ended in December 2020. A lead donation from George B. Delaplaine, Jr. will provide the collaborative space, to be called the Delaplaine Family Academic Commons. Other top-level donors to the expansion project are the Page Family Foundation; Trish and D.J. Monagle, both C’84; Paula and Fred Neuer, M.D., C’67; and Christina Lee and Mark Sobus, J.D., Ph.D., C’89.

“Our students have big, bold aspirations; this project will allow us to create the spaces and state-of-the-art programming needed to support students as they pursue their dreams,” said Dean of the School of Natural Science and Mathematics Christine McCauslin, Ph.D.

Investing in Student-Athletes

mens-bball-first-four.pngThe third focus of the campaign addresses the recent growth in and success of the Mount’s athletic programs. The university has doubled the number of athletes in its NCAA Division I programs in just six years and netted 17 conference titles and nine NCAA tournament appearances in that same period. Athletic facilities need to be updated so this success can continue, especially in the more competitive environment of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). The university joined the MAAC in July 2022.

In October 2021, the Mount dedicated six new tennis courts that represent the first phase of the Rooney Athletic Performance Center project. The multi-phase project is made possible in part by a $6 million transformational gift that John J. (deceased) and Patrick J. Rooney, and their spouses JoAnn and Sandy, respectively, made to promote growth and enhanced performances for the Mount’s Division I athletic program as well as increased intramural sport and recreational opportunities for all students. John and Pat Rooney, twins from the family that owns the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Palm Beach Kennel Club, both graduated from the Mount in 1960.

The previous tennis courts are being removed to make room for the Rooney Athletic Performance Center. The athletic performance center will house multi-use courts, student and Mount community workout and fitness spaces and campus recreation offices.

"Mount Athletics invests in student-athletes, supporting and encouraging them to excel, whether they are in the classroom or pool, community or court. These student-athletes are well-equipped to enter the world well-rounded in faith, compassion and academic prowess to become leaders in their communities," said Richard and Fran Becker, alumni from the Class of 1975 who fondly remember their athletic pursuits as undergraduates that helped them develop as business and community leaders. The Beckers have given a generous gift to support the athletic component of the campaign.

For more information about or to give to the Our Mission, Our Moment, Our Mount campaign, visit

Donna Klinger